In first, EU lawmakers cite Palestinian terror in resolution on 2 states
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In first, EU lawmakers cite Palestinian terror in resolution on 2 states

Statement, which also condemns Israeli policies, wins praise for more balanced approach, despite omitting mention of Hamas as terror group

Illustrative: Members of the EU Parliament take part in a voting session, on December 17, 2014, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. (AFP/Frederick Florin)
Illustrative: Members of the EU Parliament take part in a voting session, on December 17, 2014, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. (AFP/Frederick Florin)

The European Parliament passed a resolution on Israel and the Palestinians that omits any reference to Hamas, but which advocates of the Jewish state said was more balanced than previous documents endorsed by that institution.

The resolution, titled “Achieving the Two-State Solution in the Middle-East,” passed by the parliament Thursday in Strasbourg, “condemns all acts of violence, acts of terrorism against Israelis, and incitement to violence which are fundamentally incompatible with advancing a peaceful two-state solution.”

Past resolutions generally avoided identifying culprits and victims, a style that critics complained suggested that both parties might be guilty of such acts.

The resolution also addresses financing by the Palestinian Authority of terrorists imprisoned by Israel, a first for a document of this kind.

The resolution stresses “the responsibility of relevant EU authorities in continuing to ensure that no EU funding can be directly or indirectly diverted to terrorist organizations or activities that incite these acts.”

“While we would have wished for even clearer language, we appreciate the important step Parliament has taken to end the counterproductive habit of sheltering the Palestinians from legitimate criticism,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, the director of the American Jewish Committee‘s Transatlantic Institute in Brussels, in a statement.

While condemning terrorism in general and against Israelis particularly, the resolution does not mention Hamas, which is blacklisted as a terrorist group by the European Union and which controls Gaza.

“We would have also liked to see Hamas clearly named in the resolution as a terror organization responsible for the suffering of its own population by diverting funds from public services to terror infrastructure,” a spokesperson for AJC told JTA.

The resolution also features numerous allegations against Israel and a statement that Jerusalem should be “the capital of both states” – an Israeli and a Palestinian one.

“Settlements are illegal under international law,” reads the resolution, which singles out “in particular the approval by the Knesset on 6 February 2017 of the ‘regularization law’, which allows retroactive legalization of settlements built on Palestinian properties without the consent of the legitimate private owners.”

Israel’s establishing of West Bank settlements, including in East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution,“ the resolution reads.

The resolution also suggests Israeli Arabs do not enjoy equal rights in Israel. The text “calls for equal rights for all citizens of Israel.” It also calls on Israel to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

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